Are you a new DnD player looking for the best character class to play? Are you overwhelmed with choices and just can't make up your mind? Well my friend, you came to the right place! In today's article we'll discuss the best 5e Dungeons and Dragons character for you to roll up and start adventuring with.

What Is The Best DnD Character For New Players?

Dungeons and Dragons is an amazing game on so many levels. Unlike traditional board games and video games, DnD frees your imagination and gives you the ability to unleash your creativity through a shared narrative created by you and your fellow players. The game really isn't complicated, and doesn't have a steep learning curve. With a bit of guidance and encouragement, newbies can start playing right away. Regardless, new players are presented with a lot of choices that may seem overwhelming at times.

One of the first choices a new player must make is deciding on what character class to choose. In the 5e Player's Handbook, players are presented with twelve choices: everything from Barbarian to Wizard.

But which character is best for a starting player?

In most games that I've been involved with in over 40 years of gaming, the conventional choice for new players has typically been Fighter. Dungeon Masters and more seasoned players will frequently suggest Fighter to newbies because of the simpler, straightforward game mechanics: there are no spells to track, no overly complex abilities to master, and they have decent hit points at beginning levels and can take a beating. Fighters have access to lots of armor and weapons, and they have one clear-cut role in the party, and that is to fight!

That being said, I present a different character choice. In my games, I suggest that new players choose Druid as their first character.

GreyRaptor, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Why Druid Is The Best Class For New Players

At first, Druid may seem like an unconventional choice for new players. They're squishier than Fighters and are spell casters after all. A Druid's party role isn't as easy to grasp or straightforward as the Fighter's, but despite all of this, Druid is best.

And here's why:

  1. The world of Dungeons and Dragons is far more than combat, and the Druid class introduces a new player to more options than simply "tanking and spanking" enemies, thus allowing for more creative and imaginative play early on.
  2. Druid is an easier spell caster role to take on in the party, with a good mix of offensive and buff spells at beginning levels.
  3. Wild Shape!
  4. Did I mention Wild Shape? This ability is hands down the most exciting and versatile power that a new player can be introduced to in Dungeons and Dragons -- especially in the early stages of a game. Beginning at second level, a Druid can take the form of an CR 1/4 beast (everything from an Axe Beak to a Wolf). Wild Shape gives a new player A LOT of options and will help a newbie realize DnD's creative possibilities and give a taste of the game's greatness.

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An Example Of The Best DnD Character Class

I'll give you an example from a recent game. Amy joined one of my groups after listening to a few Critical Role podcasts. She'd always been interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons, and was excited to join up with us. During our session 0, she rolled-up a half-elf, Circle of the Moon Druid and thus began her adventure.

The next game night, I had an encounter planned for the party. The group was searching for a young child that had gone missing from a local village. Their search led to gaping maw of a dark cave. I had a Stone Golem positioned a short distance inside the cave that would spring to life as soon as it saw the party. The Golem was acting as a guard for the Hag who lived deep in the bowels of the cavern.

Well, Amy had other plans :) Before the group crept inside (which I assumed they would do after rolling a Stealth Check), she declared that she was using Wild Shape to turn into a mouse. She skittered inside, saw the inanimate Stone Golem, and then warned the party. Looking at her spell list, she cast Fog Cloud to hide the group as they sneaked inside. Brilliant! I never anticipated this, and ruled that the Stone Golem didn't activate because it couldn't see the group.

By playing a Druid, Amy was given greater options to use her imagination to problem solve and be creative -- something she couldn't have done if relegated to the role of Fighter. The choices she made were exciting for all of us, and made the game much more memorable and fun.

Final Thoughts On Best DnD Characters

While I believe that Druid is the best 5e character class for a new player, I want to be very clear that players should choose the character concept that is best for them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a newbie playing a Fighter -- I only use Fighter as an example because, in my experience, this is the class most new players are pushed towards.

So what do you think? Is Druid the best 5e class for newbies or am I way off-base? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

Until next time fellow travelers! Remember to appreciate each and every day. You're truly special, and this world needs heroes like you!

April 14, 2022 — Shane Scarbrough

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